Mike Zimmer: Kyle Rudolph will be missed

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The Vikings confirmed they are making tight end Kyle Rudolph a salary cap casualty. Rudolph announced his departure from Minnesota a few minutes before the Vikings released the news.

“Kyle has been a leader and mentor for us on and off the field from the first day I arrived in Minnesota,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said in a statement. “He has been such an important part of this team and community throughout his career and it has been an honor to coach him the last seven seasons. He will be missed, and we wish him and his family nothing but the best.”

Rudolph was not the first NFL player to be cut this offseason. He won’t be the last.

With the salary cap shrinking, more big-name players are going to get the pink slip.

Rudolph meant a lot to the Vikings and the Minneapolis community for what he did on and off the field. But Rudolph, 31, missed four games last season and made 28 catches for 334 yards and one touchdown last season, the third-fewest catches, the fourth-fewest yards and the fewest touchdowns in a season in his career.

He was due to make a $7.65 million base salary in 2021 and count $9.45 million against the Vikings’ salary cap.

Now, Rudolph gets to see what he can make on the free agent market after 10 seasons, two Pro Bowls, 453 catches, 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns.

It is not a day of celebration in Minnesota, though.

“From the moment we drafted Kyle as a young man out of Notre Dame in 2011, through his 10th season with the Vikings in 2020, he has been one of the premier tight ends in the NFL and most influential and positive leaders I’ve ever been around,” General Manager Rick Spielman said. “Kyle and Jordan have made such an immeasurable impact on our team and community that may never be matched. The energy they have invested in the community, most notably through the End Zone at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, is truly remarkable. I admire Kyle and we will miss him and his family. We sincerely wish them the best.”

11 responses to “Mike Zimmer: Kyle Rudolph will be missed

  1. Sometime back Rudolph took less to stay where he and his family felt at home, and I always admired him for that. It’s not an easy thing to do. By comparison, I lost a lot of interest in Watt after he chased dollar bills. AJ Hawk stayed put in Green Bay similarly, and I admired his decision to do so. He and Rudolph served their teams well. I wish Rudolph all the best.

  2. This is hard but the best economic and on-field decision. Glad they released him before free agency so he can get a head start on finding his next team.

  3. Even though he was in the decline phase of his career, this was
    undoubtably caused by the bloated contract of the QB.
    These QB contracts are and will continually hamstring teams as their contracts
    take up higher percentages of their teams cap.

  4. You know stellar, your an astute football mind. It’s just when someone pisses you off about your packers, that when you go off to a different level….. I realize it’s usually a viking fan doing it though.. good luck in 2021.

  5. All those years. All those glorious participant ribbons.

    Kyle played a massive role in helping the Vikings perpetuate their reputation of being one of the most mediocre franchises in NFLhistory.

  6. The NFL is going to be littered with stories like Rudolph’s over the next several weeks and beyond.
    It’s going to be an interesting offseason, a bit different than the ones we’ve know before.
    Teams are going to have to reconfigure their rosters and find the savings wherever they can.
    Buckle up ‘cause it’s far from over.

  7. Best of luck to Kyle and his family. When your production does not match your salary these things happen. Especially in year like this with a lower cap. I hope Kyle catches on with a new team. Perhaps his hometown team the Bengals.

  8. Underrated, woulda been an absolute stud in the league with the right HC and OC. Hes always had all the intangibles but speed.

  9. stellarperformance says:
    March 2, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    I lost a lot of interest in Watt after he chased dollar bills.

    You just can’t imagine that anyone would turn down playing for the Packers for whatever they would offer. I have news for you: Arizona is a lot nicer place to live than Green Bay, and the Cardinals and Packers are going in different directions (hint: Packers aren’t the ascending ones).

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